Sunday, February 3, 2013

Apple Cider Varietals - A comparison

I realize Ive taken my time getting around to doing a side by side comparison of the apple varietals I used to make cider.  Maybe I could be a bit quicker but when it comes to cider I really feel like a bit of age helps their flavor.

Unfortunately one of the varietals I made (Fuji) I couldn't seem to fine a bottle of to review.  However that's not such a bad thing, because the ones I've tried were absolutely terrible (insipid, yeasty, no apple flavor).  I should be posting another cider review shorty (Chochise Stronghold) that is my favorite use of apples in homebrew so far, strange thing is it used the Haldi-Farms apples!?

Cider Varietal Comparisons

Haldi FarmsGranny SmithGravenstein
AppearancePalest, very clear, fine bubbles breaking the surfaceMedium color of the group, still very clearDarkets of the group, very clear yellow with tan highlights
AromaBready, white wine notesExtremely subtle, slight hint of sournessVery appley aroma, almost juice-like
TasteYeasty, slightly appley, and slightly sourSourish, very much like a nice white wine (riesling-like), with faint apple finishThe most appley of the group, slightly yeasty finish, very dry
MouthfeelHighly carbonated, nice round feelingStill, Im starting to think the acidity stopped it from carb'ing upVery spritzy and dry, highest carbonation
Drinkability3 - least favorite2 - good but in a white wine sort of way1 - Best, most appley but extremely dry
Overall: I preferred the gravenstein over the others, it  had the best flavor but was very dry and slightly yeasty.  However I'm starting to come to the conclusion that the best way to get a nice apple flavor out of a cider would be to bottle off a keg to minimize the yeast derived flavors that happen when bottle conditioning (lots of acid = bready/autolysis).  Going this route I could then easily add some Xylitol (non-fermentable sugar) without worrying about autolysis like happened with my pineapple cider


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